The album itself was marketed as the "return" to Van Halen's rock roots, with most songs being guitar driven, and the synth sounds being replaced by pianos, as the synth sound had become very dated by the time of the album's release. This can be prominently heard on "Right Now", the most popular song from the album. The band also reconciled with producer Ted Templeman who produced earlier Van Halen albums to return to work on the album. This was the first album that Eddie Van Halen recorded without his trademark overdriven Marshall heads. It was said in interviews with Ted Templeman that Eddie's Marshalls kept breaking down due to their age and the fact that Eddie overdrove the power amp stage to achieve his tone, so Ted helped Eddie settle on using a Soldano SLO-100 to record the album. Shortly after the recording of the album, Eddie started his long-time use of the 5150 series of custom amplifiers, manufactured by American instrument company Peavey.
"Poundcake" featured the sound of a battery operated power drill, which Eddie held to the pickups of his guitar and revved, creating the intro. The song "Top of the World" features a riff that was first heard during the outro of the 1984-era hit "Jump." For this reason, "Top of the World" is frequently played directly after "Jump" and appears immediately after it on the "Best of Both Worlds" compilation. The instrumental "316" is named for the March 16 birthday of Eddie's son Wolfgang, who is currently Van Halen's bass player, although the song predates his birth (as part of it was used by Eddie at the beginning of his guitar solo on "Live Without A Net".
All songs by Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen and Alex Van Halen.
† denotes a single
|1991||The Billboard 200||1|
|1991||"Poundcake"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1991||"Right Now"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||2|
|1991||"Runaround"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1991||"Top of the World"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1991||"Top of the World"||The Billboard Hot 100||27|
|1992||"Man on a Mission"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||21|
|1992||"Right Now"||The Billboard Hot 100||55|
|1992||"The Dream Is Over"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||7|
|1991||For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge||Best Hard Rock Performance|